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11 April 2008

Loud and proud in China?

By Paul Evans

Brown China

The week began with mounting outrage at the behavior of the Chinese government’s “flame attendants,” who had been tasked with ensuring the smooth passage of the Olympic torch through London on Sunday. The sight of these “security thugs” barking orders at Konnie Huq made a few blogger stomachs churn.

The decision of Aussie premier Kevin Rudd to speak out strongly against China’s actions in Tibet prompted comparisons with Brown. A Lanson Boy found the PM weak, weak, weak. He wrote:

“If Kevin Rudd can show such leadership then why the hell can’t Gordon Brown?? Brown has been humiliated recently by the Chinese. First he goes there and apparently fails to utter the phrase human rights in public (It’ll damage trade you know) and then he takes part in a photo op where the Chinese make it clear that the torch is not even safe in Downing Street (but it’s ok, cos he didn’t touch it)”.

By Wednesday night, and following a meeting with Tinseltown’s George Clooney to discuss Darfur, Downing Street declared that Brown wasn’t attending the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing. Kevin Maguire was confident that he had made the right call, but sceptical of the explanations:

“… Number 10’s insistence he never intended to be there for the opening sounds weak after the uproar of the past week, including the demonstrations in London and Paris.”

Tim Dodds was among the few arguing that Brown should make himself visible in Beijing. He argued:

“It’s hypocritical of us to talk about the spirit of the Olympics and the good that it does in bringing people’s and nations together, while at the same time wanting to exhibit some faux hand wringing support for human rights in China.”

What have we learned this week?

Novelist and former Tory bigshot Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare, now an enthusiastic blogger, is touring Australia. Can we move Britain before he comes back?

Across the Pond

Condoleezza Rice has ruled herself out of the contention as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate. She wants instead to be in charge of a sport which in the US is known as ”football”. Republican blogger Kevin Tracy doesn’t much mind, and instead favours “boring and dry” religious conservative Sam Brownback.

Video of the week

The good Americans at Barely Political bring us an ode to sex scandals. Hauntingly beautiful.

Quote of the week

“Let’s face it – if mindsets can’t be swayed by the sight of a Blue Peter presenter grappling with someone over an arbitrary cultural artefact, they probably never will be.”

Westmonster on the Olympic flame’s tortured progress through the capital.

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